Helicopter survivors in critical condition

August 6, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Three of the four firefighters that survived a helicopter crash in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, were taken to the U.C. Davis Medical Center in Sacramento.

One firefighter's condition has been upgraded from serious to fare condition. Three of the four survivors are at the U.C. Davis Medical Center.

William Coultas, the pilot of the helicopter, is in critical condition in the burn unit. Jonathan Frohreich, a contract firefighter is also in critical condition. Michael Brown is also a contract firefighter, was in critical condition, but has now been upgraded to fair condition.

At Mercy Medical Center in Redding, they are caring for 42-year-old firefighter, Rick Schoeder, who is in serious condition.

Flying aircraft in and out of these unstable air conditions during a wildfire, is extremely dangerous work. Back in July of 2007 a helicopter pilot with the U.S. Forest Service died in a crash while lifting up water in the Klamath National Forest. In August 2006, two helicopter pilots were killed when they crashed into the Klamath River near Happy Camp.

The family of the survivors are at the U.C. Medical Center in Sacramento, however they have not wanted to speak on camera about their family members.

Every time firefighters and pilots go into wildfires to do airdrops, they are risking their lives. Tuesday's accident was a very tragic accident.


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